I've been following Bruce Weber for the past 5 years. In the beginning I'd no idea the man who had the tone & verve of a college graduate in his 20's was actually pushing 50! He understands the necessity, the thirst, for occasionally venturing out alone. I corresponded with him briefly when we started our 5-state 4000 miles carathon in sweltering July. I remember him as extremely gracious and polite, generously sharing suggestions and advice. This piece is dear to me for a special reason.
He speaks about a part of the US that I've always dreamed of exploring but haven't managed yet. He says something which i completely agree with: wonderful as NY is, (even Chicago and SFO for that matter), it's not representative of the country. These cities are vertical while the US is horizontal. You need to touch the ground as you travel, with your feet or hands, while you're camping in Yosemite, or while you're trying your best to avoid your tent from being uprooted as cyclone Ike attempts to rip you from the ground in West Virginia. The feeling is visceral, almost something that ripples through you.
A perfect day spent reading Bruce's anecdotes from his earlier '93 adventure, listening to Thomas Newman, and wondering why people find it so hard to believe that I do eat well.